It’s well-known that I value productivity. In fact, I’m a little obsessed with it. So much so, that I’m frequently asked, “Viken, how do you get so much done in a day?” (Sometimes, when I look back over the things I was able to accomplish, it’s a question I even ask myself.)
But the truth is, there’s no big secret to be found at the heart of my productivity. I manage my schedule well, plan out the week ahead on Sunday, and — here’s a no-brainer — avoid wasting time.
- Follow Ben Franklin’s advice: early to bed and early to rise.
- Answer my cell discriminately.
- Empower my staff so they do not have to email or call me unnecessarily.
- Check my email 3 times a day, not every 5 minutes.
- Reply to an email, delete it, or file it as a to-do item. My inbox has less than 30 emails at one time. Usually less than 5.
- Anything that takes three minutes or less, I do immediately.
- Delete useless endless emails such as jokes and unnecessary social stuff.
- Do not tweet, Facebook and post on GIFT-PL or LinkedIn as if it were my job. Social media is a big productivity drain!
- Am not hanging out at Starbucks 3 times a day. Like almost everyone else, I enjoy Starbucks, however it has not become my home away from home.
- Eat a light lunch. And I eat a lighter dinner.
- Eliminate time vampires.
- And, when I do happy hour, it’s at 8 PM, not 4:45. (Unless I am having fun with a client or catching up with my wife on our deck at the end of the day. )
Finally, my biggest productivity hack: I remain *ROI-conscious, and create and update this ongoing three-tiered to-do list:
1. Down the road
2. Proactive and Important
I try to minimize the Urgent so I can focus on #2. Best way to do it? I take a “thought break” by heading out into nature (it’s easy here in Valley Forge Park) with my notepad and “think.” And yes, I shut off my cellphone.
Do you really want to know how to get more done in a day? It’s simple: Don’t count time. Make time count.
*Return on Investment